Panthers fall short in thrilling District Quarterfinal

Cameron Millikin had several fast-break oppurtunities against Waco in the District Quarterfinal, converting on eight buckets for 19 points. He helped his team claw back against the Warriors but ended up losing 53-50 on a buzzer beater.

Buzzer beating shots can either be a cause for celebration or they can lead to devastation and disbelief. For the Pekin Panthers it was the latter, as they saw their season end in a matter of three seconds, combined with a ball dropping through the net. The Panthers had their opportunities late when they hosted Waco on February 19, but the Warriors were the ones who came out victorious 53-50 in their District Quarterfinal.

It may not have been all that surprising that Nik Coble hit a last-second shot behind the arc and beat the buzzer to help advance his team to the District finals. He’d proven the ability to hit from deep, having already made three of his four three-point attempts. The last shot was the biggest of the night, even with Coble finishing with 28 points to lead all scorers.

Just minutes before, Waco had knocked down another big triple to go up by one point. Pekin answered with a driving bucket by Cameron Millikin, giving the Panthers the lead. A foul on the other end send Waco to the line, converting one of two in the process to knot the score 50-50. The Panthers were unable to get that much-needed bucket, which would’ve put more pressure on the Warriors.

The Panthers ended their season with a 15-4 record, which included a 10-game win streak middle of the season. Their losses were to Highland and New London twice, in addition to Waco in the District Quarterfinal.
To read the full recap. including coach John Swanson's thoughts on the tough loss, pick up this weeks' edition of the News-Review.